Rigby’s “Three” sends Bris­tol home a win­ner

The Advance of Bucks County - - SPORTS - By Steve Sherman

Buck­sLo­calS­ports Ed­i­tor While he is the kicker for the foot­ball team, ju­nior Ryan Rigby is a much more in­te­gral player for the Warriors bas­ket­ball team.

ln Tues­day, Dec. 18 against Bi­cen­ten­nial Ath­let­ice League (BAL), Lower Moreland, Rigby saved the day — and the game, fa­vor: Bris­tol.

With the Warriors trail­ing 42-41, Rigby hit a layup and an enusu­ing free throw to put Bris­tol on top by two points with three sec­onds to go in the game. Play­ing off a screen set at the top of the key, it was se­nior Sean Cough­lin who fed Rigby with the pass that led to the win­ning points.

“Sean Cough­lin made a very nice pass off of a high screen to Ryan, who pitched the layup and drew the con­tact and made a three-point play,” ex­plained head coach Frank Sci­olla of the win­ning bucket.

“It was a clutch job by both of them and Ryan has really made a num­ber of plays like that in the early go­ing in his ca­reer.”

Not one to rest on his lau­rels, Rigby im­me­di­ately jumped back on de­fense and blocked a Lions shot at the buzzer that might have tied the game at 44 and sent it into over­time.

In­stead, the Warriors es­caped the Mont­gomery County gym with a two­point vic­tory, push­ing Bris­tol to 3-2 over­all, 2-1 in the BAL.

Se­nior Moe Towner led the scor­ing ef­fort for the Warriors with 12 points.

“Be­ing not that big you have to be per­fect in terms of where you are on the floor. Moe has been key with that,” Sci­olla stated.

“He’s been good, forc­ing de­flec­tions, he’s re­bounded well and he’s made some really big shots.”

“He’s had a knack for that this year.”

Rigby and Trevor Leone were next in line with nine points each. Se­nior Sean Cough­lin along with ju­niors Ryan Weinkopff and Chad Palmer chipped in with four points, each. Sopho­more Ai­dan Cough­lin added a pair.

Joe Le­van­thal led Lower Moreland with 13 points.

It’s no sur­prise, said Sci­olla, that Rigby is step­ping up at Bris­tol. Coach says the ju­nior for­ward came through for the Warriors last sea­son when Mike Mc­duire went down with a sea­so­nend­ing in­jury in Jan­uary.

“He really had some good mo­ments for us last year,” said Sci­olla. “vou have to re­spect it be­cause he’s so un­der­sized.

“lur team is un­der­sized and he’s con­sis­tently [play­ing] against a guy that’s two to six to seven inches big­ger than him.

“He’s not a high flyer but he’s a guy who is very poised. He uses his body and he makes shots.

“He makes shots at dif­fer­ent an­gles. ln this one, he made a nice catch and a lefty layup and got fouled.”

Palmer was an­other player who stepped up at Bris­tol last sea­son as a sopho­more. Av­er­ag­ing over six pointsper-game, Palmer was named First Team All-BAL Con­sti­tu­tion when the sea­son ended. Coach says be­cause of that, op­po­nents are de­vis­ing their game plans with Palmer in mind.

“Teams are aware who Chad is this year,” Sci­olla ex­plained.

“He is go­ing to score more as the year goes on but right now, teams are really key­ing on him.

“They build their de­fense on keep­ing him out of the lane.”

The fact that Bris­tol doesn’t come to the court with a sig­nif­i­cant amount of height also hurts the War-

ri­ors’ cause.

“You can sell out on pen­e­tra­tion be­cause we are not coming at you with a lot of size,” said Sci­olla “We’re not ham­mer­ing the glass.

“[Op­pos­ing de­fenses] are step­ping out and tak­ing Chad away.”

Sci­olla says the Warriors need to work more on spac­ing in or­der to get Palmer more open looks at the bas­ket.

“We need to work more on de­vel­op­ing dif­fer­ent looks and putting him in dif­fer­ent spots.”

While he scored just four points in the win at Lower Moreland, Palmer drove the lane and got fouled then made two big free throws to cut the home team’s edge to a sin­gle point with 90 sec­onds to go in the Lower Moreland game.

The play of Weinkopff has ig­nited the Warriors at times this year, the coach says.

“Ryan’s en­ergy level has been ab­so­lutely tremen­dous; he com­petes on ev­ery pos­ses­sion and on ev­ery re­bound.”

“He has been a tremen­dous help to us in the early go­ing as we’re try­ing to get our feet.”

Sean Cough­lin has also played well, the coach said. And that is sur­pris­ing given the fact Couglin was a key player on the foot­ball team.

“Sean has been great as a leader and has im­proved his de­ci­sion-mak­ing process from last year in terms of when to go and when not to go.”

Leone is an­other player coming off the gridiron who is con­tribut­ing.

“Trev is a very good shooter; he’s also re­bound­ing the ball well,” said Sci­olla.

Hurt early on in the duel with Church Farm, Leone came back and contributed to this win, drain­ing a shot from be­yond the arc in the clos­ing stretch of the bat­tle.

The win over the Lions comes on the heels of an 11-point loss to new BAL en­try Church Farm School which out­paced Bris­tol, 4534 Dec. 15 in en­emy ter­ri­tory. The Warriors pre­vi­ous league win came Dec. 7 in its own Coaches vs. Can­cer Tipoff Tour­na­ment.

Bris­tol outscored Mor­risville 66-43 in that one. Af­ter drop­ping the tipoff tour­ney ti­tle tilt to Con­well-Egan, the Warriors re­bounded Dec. 13 with a 42-20 win at Ge­orge School.

Next, Bris­tol out­paced BAL ri­val New Hope-Sole­bury Fri­day, Dec. 21 by a 60-50 score. Towner led the Warriors’ at­tack with 17 points, Palmer added 12 while Sean Cough­lin and Rigby came through with nine, each. Af­ter the Christ­mas hol­i­day, Bris­tol takes a trip to the Jersey shore Satur­day Dec. 29 at Wild­wood Con­ven­tion Cen­ter where they will face Ocean City in a 12:30 p.m. matchup as part of the Board­walk Bas­ket­ball Clas­sic.

Photo by Steve Sherman

Op­pos­ing de­fenses have been key­ing on Bris­tol ju­nior Chad Palmer.

Photo by Steve Sherman

Bris­tol se­nior Sean Cough­lin (R) is step­ping up for the Warriors.

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